3 Ways to Begin Aligning Your PPC & SEO Strategies

Paid and organic search are the peanut butter and chocolate of the digital marketing world. One is good without the other, but when you put them together the combination is incredible. However, many search marketers, and brands today never create that powerful combination (at least on purpose).

For the third year in a row I took a look at a set of keywords to understand how many brands have listings in both paid and organic search. They keyword set has remained the same all three years across the various verticals.

In a year that had a significant amount of search marketing evolution (think Google Panda/Penguin and the Knowledge Graph) the amount of overlap between paid and organic search didn’t change much.

PPC/SEO Brand Overlap Ratio Year Over Year Change

The data below looks at what brands appear in the paid and organic space. The key highlights indicate:

  • Only consumer travel has consistently increased their overlap for three years in a row. Travel has been a sector that has seen some pressure over the last few years as the economy struggles. It has potentially led to fewer players, as well as a more coordinated strategy.
  • Retail took its first drop. We noticed a lot more Google shopping results for this keyword set than ever before. This has a lot to do with the change in Google shopping to paid service, as well as continued proof that brands need to be found in various channels vs. being reliant on a few.
  • Overall the amount of brands that appear in both paid and organic search has remained consistent over the past three years around 17 percent.


How To Better Coordinate Your Paid And Organic Programs

1. Create Business Cases that Demonstrate the Combined Impact of Paid & Organic Search

There are countless studies that talk about the increase in brand awareness, and total impact of having both a paid and organic listing.

Don’t underestimate the business impact of having both listings when creating the business cases for funding. For example, our data shows that for every 10 keywords in the top 10 total assists go up by 20 percent.


2. Test and Research

Your search query, and analytics reports are great places to find new keywords to bid on, and organically optimize for. Don’t think that your keyword list on day one is the final answer. There are opportunities that await you be testing new keywords, and using multiple variants to drive new traffic, and sales.

Test your position for PPC, and measure the total impact on your sales. Maximizing every dollar only comes with a specific test, and measurement plan.

3. Be Available to Consumers Wherever & Whenever

Consumers today are switching from tablets, to desktop, to social media, and search seamlessly. They don’t think about if they are using PPC, SEO, or any other form of digital media.

All consumers know is it was there when they were ready to use it. Being available as consumers use more touch points than ever prior to making a decision is a critical thing to remember as you design consumer centric marketing programs.


Aligning your search strategies between paid and organic may not come easy. However, your consumer – and therefore your business – will benefit.

A coordinated search strategy is just one piece of the puzzle, but having the left hand know what the right is doing makes for a much better strategy.

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